Hello everyone -
I am just under 3 weeks post-op from a 1 level c5/c6 ACDF.
I went back to work on Tuesday of this past week - which was exactly 2 weeks to the day from my surgery - and I didn't think I would make it through the day! I sit at a computer all day... but I just felt totally exhausted
...like the process of getting up, getting ready and getting to work made me feel like I needed to go back to the recliner/heating pad for another week. I did, thankfully, make it through the day and Wed. - Fri. got gradually better...a little more each day. Saturday though (yesterday) I started feeling pretty rough again... alot of pain & stiffness in my neck and both shoulders...and unfortunately today is even worse. I feel like I am on a roller coaster. 1 day I feel pretty good and almost "normal" and the next day or 2 I feel worse than ever. I am trying to do everything around the house that I can w/out "breaking" my 5 lb. lifting restriction. My husband and co-workers seem to think I just need to keep going, keep moving, get back into my routine (instead of sitting in the recliner with a heating pad on my neck all weekend) and I will regain my strength and energy & lose the pain and stiffness... As if, by not jumping out of bed every morning and acting like I feel great and forcing myself to Go, Go, Go... I am bringing the "slow" recovery on myself.
I am a 39 year old, very healthy female - not in great physical shape - not in terrible physical shape either. Just in kind of "40 year old Mom shape" I guess. haha.
**I have, however, suffered from chronic neck and lower back pain for at least the past 10 years. I was never taken seriously about my pain level until the disc in my neck completely ruptured/degenerated/whatever and nothing helped...hence the surgery. My only lumbar MRI - 1 1/2 years ago was completely normal(so they say... I have a VERY hard time believing it but what can I do??) To this very day my lower back hurts much more than my neck most of the time!**
This is the first surgery I have ever had and I feel so wimpy reading stories on here about people having multiple fusions & much more extensive procedures than I had. Of course, you guys are recovering at a slower pace than I "should be". I am not understanding why with a 1 level fusion I still feel like I have been hit by a Mac truck some days?!
It may be my paranoia... or maybe not, but my boss seems to have a definite attitude of "it's been 3 weeks since your surgery... why do you still feel bad?"
I apologize for this extremely long post. If you read it all, thanks for bearing with me! I would love to see some recovery stories about how others with a 1 level fusion did. How long til you felt 100% better? Or even 80% or 90% better on a cosistent basis. Does my recovery sound normal? Am I being a wimp? Should I pretend I feel great and keep doing lots of stuff? My body is telling me "no" but my head is telling me "yes".
Thanks in advance for any insight as to why I am still feeling so bad some days. If I am a wimp... just be honest... I can take it!